End Welfare? - What If There Was No Welfare?
End Welfare? What Would Happen to Humanity if There was no Welfare?
Welfare, as an institution of government, may be on the way out. What will happen to welfare recipients if there is no welfare? What can they expect? Can welfare be done away with - without causing mass starvation?
Why do we have welfare? Is it necessary?
I've stated some of my thoughts on the welfare state on this page and I'm asking you to think over the issues and contribute to the conversation at the end of the page.
Image: Madonna of the Poor, by Roberto Ferruzzi. Available for sale at AllPosters.com
Dr. Thomas Sowell vs. Pennsylvania Secretary of Welfare, Helen O'Banion
What If There Was No Welfare?
...would all the poor people die?
If there was no welfare, working people wouldn't have to support non-working people, but would taxes go down or would the government find some other reason to keep our money?
Of course not all poor people would die, but would some of them? Do we have to view this process of release from the welfare state as one of coping with "acceptable loss?" I would have a hard time with that. Even one child dying because of poverty seems like too much to me.
I've been on the fence with welfare issues for many years. I can see that the welfare state has robbed people of motivation, encouraged dependency, and created an era of protracted poverty mentality. But how can we withdraw a helping hand when so many are destitute already?
Do you think it couldn't happen? Already California's governor tried to abolish welfare for the poor, and if it could happen there, it could happen anywhere. Our country is in very bad shape, financially. How can we continue sending support checks to so many?
Will Welfare End?
Will welfare end in your country within the next twenty years?
A Guide for New Teenage Parents - Stay Together, If You Can
The best thing you can do for your child is to stay with the other parent, given that the person isn't abusive.
Two parents together can give a child the best chance of a happy life.
Also, someone should have a job... to at least try to support the family.
Would Children Starve?
...or would community organizations pitch in to help them?
I've met many generous people, especially since I started writing online. The internet has definitely helped me to become more charitable. But is charity enough to supply the needs of the poor and destitute?
Today while doing the research for this page, on YouTube I came across a video about Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, a church that attempts to help the ailing and suffering masses in the poorest districts of that city. Though charity was massive and constant, they still didn't think they'd be able to do enough to fulfill all the needs of the people who would be left suffering if welfare ended.
I believe many people will help more, so much as they can, but that not all people will find the kind of help they need when they need it. Single mothers may be one of the most difficult groups to help because they can't work if they can't maintain a home and child care.
If welfare ends, there will probably be a lot more people dining in soup kitchens. A society encouraging charity would be an amazingly different place than this civilization which is dependent on welfare.
Starvation of Children
Would children in your community starve if there was no welfare (and no food stamps)?
Tent Cities for Children and the Disabled
Would Families Be Destitute and Line the Street With Tents?
...would they ever get on their feet and find housing and jobs?
If all the money the government spends on hand-outs was instead spent on putting poor Americans to work, these people might have hope. To pull the rug out from under them without helping them find stable situations would be cruel. That begs the question - how cruel can we be? It seems some politicians have no problem with forcing people into the streets and out of their homes.
If you're living on the poverty level and on any kind of welfare program, you had better invest in a good tent and other camping equipment, just in case. Start now to create your own backup plan so if everything crashes down around you -- you can walk out of your comfort zone without being in a panic.
Would poor families with no welfare have to live in tents?
Protest Song: James McMurty Points Out What's Wrong With the Economic Situation and How it Affects the Poorest of the Poor.
Wisconsin Sisters in Poverty
This comprehensive look at welfare recipients in Milwaukee, Wisconsin profiles three sisters, examining six generations of their family and a long history of poverty.
This book takes the issue of "black welfare mothers" into a personal and sympathetic relationship for both sides of the welfare debate.
Though we live in a country with an "American Dream" that teaches us that everyone has a chance for financial prosperity, there are many good reasons why some people are unable to escape from generations of poverty and despair.
Would Young Women be More Careful Not to Get Pregnant?
...would the birth rate go down? ...would the abortion rate go up?
Most of us would like for young women to think before they agree to be in a situation where pregnancy could happen. Our country isn't focused on trying to make young people resist having sex, however. In fact, sex education as taught in the schools may encourage early experimentation.
When my daughter was 12 and in eight grade I was notified by the school that if she wanted birth control, school officials would take her to the clinic behind my back and I would not be notified. (Crazy, in my opinion, but true! This happened in California!) So perhaps that's our civilization's answer... teach them about sex, take them to the clinic for birth control, and send them out on the streets.
Would these well-educated young ladies be more careful not to get pregnant? Perhaps they'd be more careful to get birth control, at the very least... but isn't free birth control a form of welfare? Who pays for that?
And oh, one more thing. The school notified me that if my daughter needed an abortion she could get that through them without notifying me. So, that's another option, presumably somehow paid for by the government.
It is hard to get away from government funded welfare programs these days.
Free government schools are a kind of welfare program too, you know. But most people don't want to think of it that way.
Would young women be more careful about getting pregnant?
Memoir of a Fatherless Child
This reminds me of a memoir I recently read. It is about a girl child who was raised by her single mother, who had to live with the grandparents.
It took place before and during World War II in Belgium. A fascinating story!
Would Young Fathers-to-Be be More Likely to Stay With the Women They Impregnated?
...would they take responsibility and be fatherly at a young age?
Here's a very heart-warming notion. Would young fathers be more likely to stay with their girlfriends who were pregnant because they would no longer be able to think, "she can get welfare," or "she can get an abortion paid for by medicare," or "they can get food stamps?"
Would they realize they created a life (I don't want to say 'made a mistake') and try to do something manly like get a job and support mother and child?
Or would they freak out and become hobos while their children starved? What do you think would happen most often?
Would they be more likely to take responsibility for their offspring?
Would Young Single Mothers be Supported by Their Families Instead?
...if they couldn't get welfare, would their families help out?
Isn't that how it used to work, before welfare? If a young woman was in the family way, she was in B-I-G trouble, especially if there was no man to step up and claim responsibility. These women typically had to incur the wrath of their parents and remain living with them. It was a terrible, scary situation for many of them.
Nowadays, if they're pregnant they can get welfare and move out on their own. Their parents may still be furious, but they don't have to live with the old folks.
It seems the 'new morality' is that you don't have to worry about being unmarried and pregnant. In 2009 almost half of all births in the United States were to unmarried mothers. This just doesn't have the same social stigma it used to.
See statistics in the NY Times: Out-of-Wedlock Birthrates Are Soaring, U.S. Reports.
Would families help young single mothers with their children?
How Welfare Reform Affects Real People
The researcher who wrote this book interviewed dozens of people affected by welfare reform cutbacks, in a medium sized southeastern town, and in a western city. Her insights from talking to real people enabled her to write a book that not only examines the reasons behind welfare reform, but also explains how families are impacted both positively and negatively.
Would More Children be Taken Care of by Their Grandmas While Their Parents Worked?
...somebody will have to take care of them!
I think there's no doubt that more children would be left with their grandmas (or grandpas) because the end of welfare also means the end of government subsidized child care such as Head Start programs and maybe even all public schools, since the government school system is another form of welfare. (Of course - government likes that because it gives them a chance to inculcate their values into the children at an early age.)
But what about families where the single mom is working at the local pizza parlor for minimum wage plus tips, and she has no family to leave her children with. This could be a disaster! I believe most families would be able to manage just fine, but it is those isolated cases of destitution and hardship that would keep me up at night. Would private charitable organizations be able to pick up the slack?
And what about grandmas that work; maybe they wouldn't want to quit their jobs to be babysitters for their grandchildren. Lots of grandmas are too independent for that.
Grandmas to the Rescue
Should grandmothers be expected to provide child care for grandchildren?
Does Welfare Ruin Ambition? Does Desperation Promote Income Generation?
Would People be More Likely to Seek Creative Income Opportunities?
There's no time like the present to brainstorm income producing activities.
For every door that closes, another opens. Don't be afraid of the future, because usually the door that opens leads to something far better than what was left behind.
Not every person can hold down a full time job, but everyone can think of something to do that would be creative, feasible, and profitable.
Have you read Acres of Diamonds - a speech by Russell Conwell? If not, this is the perfect time.
Would the Economy be Stimulated Because More People Would Work?
...economic recovery by ending welfare?
I am no economics expert, so I can't answer this question. I'm putting it out here for others to consider.
I believe it helps for people to have lower expectations of what life should be giving them. Joy in living a simple life is what has saved me... there's still plenty of happiness to be had even if you can't buy everything you want.
Would the economy be stimulated if all welfare programs were closed down?
War or Welfare?
Wefare or War?
Would you rather support welfare or war with your tax dollars?
Would People be More Likely to Grow Gardens if Welfare Ended?
...I sure hope so! So why don't they all do it now? Is supermarket food all that much better? I don't think so!
My grandmother had a little sign in her flower garden... it said, "One is nearer God's heart in a garden, than anywhere else on earth."
For those of you living in apartments: Urban Farming: Window Farms.
There's nothing quite as sweet as self-sufficiency. "God bless the child who's got his own."
Gardening as a Solution to Poverty
Would welfare recipients start gardens if they had no free money or foodstamps?
What do you think would happen if there were no welfare at all? - ...meaning no food stamps, no cash aid, no medical aid, no unemployment insurance, no SSI, no
So, what's your opinion on all this?
- National Welfare Rights Union
The National Welfare Rights Union is an organization of, by, and for the poor in the United States and beyond. We are building a social movement committed to ending poverty and ensuring a better world ...
© 2010 Linda Jo Martin